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There Is A New A1C Test For Diabetic Pets

There is a New A1C Test for Diabetic Pets

There is a New A1C Test for Diabetic Pets

Recently a new test for pet diabetes became available. It is the hemoglobin A1C for dogs and cats. I think there are definitely some situations where this test will be good for veterinary patients, but please don’t throw out your glucose meters just yet. A blood glucose curve is still my preferred test to evaluate glucose regulation in diabetic pets.
Doctors use the A1C test for humans as well. This test gives us a reflection over the recent past as to what the patient’s blood glucose has been. It is a longer “look” at past blood glucose than the fructosamine test that we veterinarians have had in our toolbox for years.
A blood glucose reading from a blood glucose meter tells us what the blood glucose is at a moment in time. A fructosamine test gives us an indication of what the blood glucose regulation has been over the previous few weeks. The new hemoglobin A1C test gives us an indication of the blood glucose over the last 110 days for dogs and over the last 70 days for cats.
What Might be a Good Time to Use a Fructosamine or A1C Test?
Fractious pets that won’t allow a blood glucose curve at home or even in the clinic would be reasonable patients to forego a curve and settle on one of these tests. If a pet would harm the owner (while attempting a blood glucose curve) or if the pet becomes so stressed at a vet clinic that a blood glucose curve is tarnished with stress hyperglycemia, an A1C test can be helpful. Given the average situation, a relaxed pet who will allow blood glucose checks by owners, is the better option as I’d still much rather evaluate a blood Continue reading

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Diabetes, Cancer and the Drug that Fights them Both

Diabetes, Cancer and the Drug that Fights them Both

by Megan L Norris
figures by Bradley Wierbowski
The emerging link between cancer and diabetes
In the early 2000s, observations that diabetics are more likely to get cancer than non-diabetics began piling up. Was this because diabetes and cancer share general risk factors such as diet, aging and obesity? Or was there a direct link between them, with cancer benefiting from the sugar-rich and inflamed environment brought on by diabetes? Making bad news worse, it became apparent that cancer thrives in the presence of excess insulin, like that injected by many diabetics as therapy. Thus, one of the ways to treat diabetes could be making the cancer risk even worse.
Almost as soon as this dark cloud began to loom, rays of light broke through from an unexpected source. Research on a popular type II diabetes treatment called metformin revealed that metformin actually seemed to lower the risk for colorectal and other cancers in diabetics. Though it may seem paradoxical that metformin and insulin injections, two treatments for the same disease, could have such opposite effects on cancer, years of research in both the clinic and the laboratory has begun to pull back the curtain on this mystery. Broadly speaking, metformin makes the body more sensitive to the insulin it already is. For type II diabetics, not only does this increased insulin sensitivity treat diabetes, but it drains the fuel on which some cancers may thrive.
Diabetes is a pervasive disease
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US and is on the rise. More than 10% of Americans over 20 years old have diabetes, Continue reading

Simple Tricks for Living Well with Diabetes—from People Who Have It

Simple Tricks for Living Well with Diabetes—from People Who Have It

Stay active and track your reactions
When David Weingard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 36, he faced with some tough adjustments. From taking his new medication to monitoring his blood sugar, he fought to stay active and fit, eventually founding his diabetes coaching company, Fit4D. For Weingard, exercising had to remain a part of his life and he encourages other diabetics to do the same.
"Exercise is critical to long-term physical and mental health. Mentally, we need positive energy (and endorphins) to combat the 24/7 strain of the condition. Physically, we need to help our bodies stay strong and avoid the long-term effects and complications of diabetes," he says.
But to figure out how much you can withstand and what works for your body, he also notes that keeping track your reactions will help create a plan that works uniquely for you. "Detailed record keeping is a key factor in realizing the benefits of exercise and minimizing blood sugar swings—especially highs and lows. You can reference these records to repeat workouts and your body should yield similar results most of the time," he says. Find out what the best exercises are for people with diabetes.
Build a support system
Though Rachel Zucker is only 24 years old, she's been managing her type 1 diabetes diagnosis since she was four years old, making her quite the expert. She described diabetes as a full-time job: She had to accept that there are no days off, no breaks or vacations. That's why she recommends having supportive friends and family around you who will move with your highs and lows—th Continue reading

Diabetes control: Warning signs and tips to reduce your risk

Diabetes control: Warning signs and tips to reduce your risk

Educating ourselves on chronic diseases that are significant risks to our health can significantly improve and even save our lives. Although we may worry about genetically modified foods and pesticide contamination, diabetes is a greater risk to your health and well being.
Diabetes is a disorder of insulin production or use. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to the food we consume. Disruption in the production or use of insulin causes alteration in the way food is used. It is critical to know the differences between both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes so you can be aware of signs, symptoms and treatment options.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is often considered juvenile-onset diabetes since the usual patient is less than 20 years old. According to the CDC, more than 13,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about five percent of total cases. Signs and symptoms include increased thirst, urination, hunger and rapid weight loss. In Type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin and insulin must be given via injection in a way that mimics normal pancreatic function.
Type 2 diabetes
As opposed to Type 1 diabetes, those with Type 2 diabetes make insulin but don’t use the hormone effectively. The body subsequently responds by making more insulin. This excess insulin can cause an increase in appetite and other undesirable health changes. Being overweight and lack of physical activity increases the risk.
Although the symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are similar, the latter disease is stealth like. Type 2 diabetes s Continue reading

Eat This, Not That! to Improve Your Health

Eat This, Not That! to Improve Your Health

Eat This, Not That! To Control Blood Pressure
En español | You already know that cutting down on salt is a good idea for your blood pressure. You may even know that the new 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that your sodium intake be below 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day. That’s the equivalent of eight of those little packets of salt you get at McDonald’s. While that seems like a lot, it’s nothing compared with what’s lurking in some of our most popular restaurant and prepared foods. Here are a few swaps for better blood pressure.
Eat Walnuts, Not Roasted, Salted Nuts
A diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may help the body respond better to stress and can also help keep diastolic blood pressure levels down, according to a small Pennsylvania study. But while all nuts are healthy, roasting them can ramp up the calories (but not the nutrition). Many cocktail mixes are packed with sugar.
Eat Peanut Butter With Blueberries, Not With Blueberry Jelly
Peanut butter, especially when spread on whole-grain bread, is rich in fiber; a 2015 study showed that increasing fiber to at least 30 grams per day for a year resulted in lower blood pressure. Those benefits can be undone with the wrong products, though. Peanut butter and jelly sounds wholesome, but it packs an awful lot of sugar. According to a study in the journal Open Heart, a high-sugar diet can increase blood pressure. Instead of jelly, try mashing up 1/4 cup of blueberries and adding them to your sandwich.
If your diet is low in protein, you can have a harder time recovering from illness or surgery. A 2015 study in Cl Continue reading

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